13 May 2011


  1. Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility update - Analysis/Requirements (coming soon)
  2. Business Case slides (to be updated) - discuss draft material from EOWG participants (if any comes in)
  3. Promoting ATAG (to be updated)
  4. Face-to-face topic review, teleconference/videoconference logistics (please indicate participation)


Shawn, Ian, Shadi, Judy, Denis, Sandi, Helle, Jennifer, KarlGroves, Sharron, Char
Cliff, Wayne, Alan, Sylvie, Emmanuelle, Vicki
Shawn Henry


Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility

Judy: We have an opportunity for an editor to help with update and reorg of document that is important in standardization work that we do. We need to convince people to use WAI guidelines rather than make derivatives or revisions. We developed a document years ago about why harmonization is important and valuable but it has not been updated for WCAG2.
... had thought it would be a simple update but in looking at it, it needs more organization. Need an editor to work directly with staff. I will do some revision myself but need help. We have some translation support as well. I'd like to spend today talking about requirements, taking your input, and giving a draft for the next time you meet and polish it in between.
... Any questions about the background? Then let's look at the documents and requirements.
... Have people had a chance to look at it?

Jennifer: I had a quick skim before I joined this morning.

Denis: Looked at it for today but it is the first time I have looked at it.

Sharron: Yes, quick skim

Judy: I'd like to hear people's reactions before presenting my thoughts.

Jennifer: One of the first things that I think of with harmonization, is other standards that rely on WCAG - Daisy, ePub etc. I think we should add that if accessibility principles and standards are not harmonized, it can cause fragmentation of other dependent standards as well.

Judy: Thanks for that. We could approach that in two ways. First to encourage those who develop standards for related systems, to use WCAG2 as the foundation and second consider how derivation breaks the dependencies.

Jennifer: The table - might we consider not leaving that information in a table.

<shawn> ACTION: Judy - consider adding the issue that some other standards rely on WCAG, eg DAISY, ePub - so fragmentation really mucks that up [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action01]

Judy: I think the content in the table should not even be here. Part of the document is analysis rather than a persuasive argument. I think it could easily be integrated differently. maybe we don't have to worry about format now.
... even if you just skim, it is valuable to get your reaction. What comes across?

Denis: Two questions: There used to be a QA working group. What I understood was that harmonization was part of that work. Is it related?

Judy: The QA activity has pretty much come to a close. There are documents. The work that WAI was doing on standards harmonizationcame came before the QA work. They did not consider harmonization so much part of their scope of work since WAI was working on it.

Denis: Looking at other standards in development, we could take the different elements that are not harmonized in other standards and document them. When standards are developed that we are not comfortable with, we can document that fact.

Judy: Are you saying to capture the discrepancies between standards in this document?

Denis: Perhaps, when we find standards that are not in harmony with WCAG2, it can give some weight to the arguments within those working groups. I am thinking of HTML5 specifically.

Judy: Previously, when we developed this document, we carefully considered tone. Wrestled with the need to be thoughtful and in revision balance the critical nature - positive and negative consequences of harmonization.
... we want to be careful about focussing on making a positive and persuasive argument. In the revision we want to balance that. Last time we were adhering to not making a case against those who were not harmonizing.
... The general argument about harmonization may not be helpful in this document. Not sure this would be the best place for it.

<shawn> ACTION: Judy - clarify scope, e.g., relate to harmonization with HTML5-level material? or, just accessibility standards? [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action02]

Denis: It would be useful if we somehow captured those discrepencies and documented them somehow, even if not this document.

Jennifer: If we don't mention it and focus on asking countries to harmonize to WCAG2, it could seem odd. We say countries should harmonize, but are not doing it ourselves, internally.

Judy: In this document however - if we are trying to be persuasive to policy makers in various countries - it is best to stay away from too specific criticism. But when addressing internal standards, the oppositie is true. In that case, it needs to be quite specific and this document is not meant to be direct or specific enough to do what needs to be done regarding internal standards.

Shawn: If your country is doing accessibility standards, use WCAG2 rather than rewriting. If that is the scope, it should be in the requirements.

Judy: Right, and let's clarify. Denis, I am hearing that you think the discrepancies in HTML5 etc need to be documented. But do you agree that this document is not the place to do that?

Denis: Yes, but needed to raise the issue.

Judy: Don't want to lose that point because it is important.
... others? what is the visceral reaction to this document?

Denis: Within the group where I work, there has always been the assurance that standards are internally harmonized. Always had faith that all were working together. Since QA is no longer working, is no one doing that?

Judy: Every chartered working group at W3C has to declare dependencies on other relevant standards. Must do this to get chartered.
... the HTML5 work is based on backward and forward compatibility. They are not done with their work yet. There are still issues before they have a draft. By the time it is a completed standard, it will be addressed. But this document is not the primary place to address that.

Denis: I agree

Judy: I would like to hear the reaction of others in reading it and especially Helle as you worked on the original document. What is your opinion on how to improve?

Helle: Many things have happened since we wrote this. Harmonization has improved since we got WCAG2 in Europe. They are looking at the evaluation initiative at the UN. Shadi you are involved in that. So I think at least in Europe, the general importance of harmonization is still valid, but I have no specific comments.

Shadi: Just to quickly reflect on Helle's commnet, there is more recognition of WCAG and willingness to move toward them. But we still see fragmentation because contries may "adopt" them and than go on to adapt the standards. Implementation is still varied.

Helle: When you get face to face with people they will tell you they had trouble with WCAG2. Some of it is non-English. The supporting documents are not as widely recongized and used outside of English speaking and US. Regarded as very Anglo-American centered.

<shawn> ACTION - Judy consider saying more about the amount of support material that comes along with WCAG (understanding, techniques, at a glace, EOWG material, etc., etc., )

Judy: We don't emphasize the support documents enough, I hear.
... translation is an issue as well.

<Zakim> shawn, you wanted to ask about scope and harmonization of relater mateial, e.g., eval methodlogy and to mention translations more visible

Shawn: One of the things related to materials in different languages is the visibility of translated materials. Maybe this document can be used as a mechanism to make translated documents more visible.
... First, it could help make existing translations more visible. And second, once they were more visible, we would get more of them generated.
... will the scope include people developing related materials? If you are creating say an evaluation methodology do we want to encourage harmonization?

<shawn> ACTION: Judy - consider if the scope includes related material (not just actual standards), e.g., web accessibiity eval methodology, which needs to be coordinated with WCAG WG [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action03]

Judy: Yes that is a huge issue. Sometimes people have entire teams creating evaluation materials and not aware that W3C would be very welcoming to that work.

<judy> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/changelogs/cl-harmon

Judy: Can we look over the draft requirements that I have started to write? and continue general discussion while looking at that.
... Let's consider "Objectives, Goals, Purpose" One way to phrase it is so that we have one standard that allows authoring tools, evaluation tools, etc all to work well together and thus we support more rapid content development for the web.
... In talking with the editors about this, we thought perhaps we need to first introduce the concept, persuade people it is valuable to do, and then provide portable enough materials to help others spread the word.

<shawn> ACTION: Judy - fix title & heading 1 [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action04]

Judy: The audience for this document is a bit complicated. The primary audience seems to be policy makers. Secondary are more likely going to be accessibility proponents. Increasingly because of UN Convention, may have one government branch advocating to another. There is a fair amount of indirection between who is likely to come across the document and those who can act upon it.

Sharron: Agree

Denis: I agree too. I feel the same disconnect within both my governments here in Quebec and Canada

Sharron: Often those most likely to come across and read the document aren't the ones who directly decide policy

<shawn> ... so good for advocacy

Judy: Some sections in the original document help prepare others for making the argument. It may be in some countries that is changing becasue of the UN directive. My sense is we have an opportunity to write a document that is more direct.

Denis: Most of my work is between the advocates and the implementers and making sense between each.

Judy: The gap between the implementer and the policy maker, yes?

Denis: yes that is it.

Judy: There may be one or two useful things we could say about that.

Denis: I came up with a three hour session about the standards and how they can be implemented. Talking to different heads of depts within one Ministry, I had to make the same argument in just 20 minutes.

Judy: One of the ideas is a slide set to go along with it. Perhaps two - one that will be very concise and summarized and one more in depth.

Sandi: My situation in working with UK government is that they want to take standards, guidelines, etc and really understand them. The e-accessibility action plan wants to include industry.
... interoperability is an issue since they think WCAG is it - end of story. There is an education gap, since there is little awareness of UAAG, ATAG etc.
... people are confused. They don't understand who is ultimately responsibile for accessibility.
... I am struggling with having to explain to people who are not technical.

<shawn> ACTION - Judy consider scope to mention WCAG, ATAG, UAAG, saying really need to include all 3 for interoperability

Sandi: is there a way to position harmonization with the issue of the wholistic nature of the Internet?

Judy: One of the organizational problems with the existing document is that the headings are not sufficiently related to the sections. Your point is important in that if we don't recongize the need for interoperability people will feel that they can - and even should - remake standards because we have missed that important aspect.

Judy: Once I really looked at it all the way through, I saw that several points were completely buried.

Judy: No one disagreed with Ojectives or Audiences. Look at next section, Approach and then see if people are comfortable with supporting the document as is or how to approach.

Shawn: If you are a passionate advocate and come across this document, should we include some direction about what should you do? Provide clear actions for diffeent readers - e.g., HOW to influence policy?

<judy> http://www.w3.org/WAI/Policy/harmon#steps

Judy: Yes, document needs to address all three. If read by a policy maker, or someone close to the policy maker, or someone at a distance. The lack of differentiation in the current doc should be looked at in the update.

<judy> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/changelogs/cl-harmon#approach

Judy: Look at the requirements, specifically the Approach section.

<shawn> ACTION - Judy consider including clearer, simplier actions for different audiences, e.g., what distant advocate can do versus in-the-trenches policy maker

Judy: Agree that explanation of what we mean by standards harmonization is needed.

All: yes

<dboudreau> +1

Jennifer: The requirement to remove the tabular analytical material and provide a clear summary of rationales instead. Don't loose that content, just rearrange.

Judy: How about the next one? pursuading different audiences

Jennifer: Background may be needed.

Shawn: Or channel William and tersify.

Judy: Consider "Provide alternative suggestions for concerns that typically lead people to create derivative or fragmented versions of standards" When I talk to folks, derivatives usually are based in good intentions.
... they are often unaware of the techniques option. So this point is to provide them with avenues within the existing framework that allow innovation.
... as you look at this again, are there other things that are missing that need to be in this document?

Helle: I have been considering this as I am more involved in ISO groups and such, one of the things is that if you look at ISO standard it is not something that would even consider changing locally.
... should we put something in about relation to other standards bodies?

Judy: I intend to do that. The ISO JTC1 has a process for publicly available standards and W3C has been established as a task submitter. We have sent other standards to them and the next one going through will be WCAG2.
... maybe within the year, WCAG2 will be an endorsed JTC1 standard. That should decrease the risk of fragmentation, but can't talk publicly about it since it's not a done deal.
... other thoughts?

Judy: Any other comments, questions? Can I assume we are OK with the requirements? I look forward to bringing you a draft and discussing it as it shapes up.
... there should be a draft in time for your F2F. The following Friday, not sure. Working on timeline.
... thanks and bye.

Business Case slides

<shawn> Vicki: suggested slides for ROI

<shawn> Wayne: alt text example

<shawn> Karl: visual design for ROI slides

Shawn: Everyone was going to think about and make suggestions about how to address risk.

<shawn> all: how to cover risk

Karl: Yes my friend said he would look at it. I'll ping him again.

Shawn: I would like to get the inputs next week, is that possible?
... about risk, I updated somewhat. I thought there was a place to add a sentence around the ROI but did not flow well.
... please look at the Biz Case slides and make suggestions about how/where to address risk.
... Karl, are you willing to take a stab at it?

Karl: Sure, you want a new slide?

Shawn: Just what seems effective. Maybe just add to the notes, or a sentence on a slide, a new slide, a couple of places - propose whatever you like for us to consider. Specific suggestions, a couple of concrete ideas for the group to consider.
... anything else on Biz case?

Face-to-face topic review

Shawn: At the beginning of the call, I let you know that we expect to have video conferencing. I would like to know, if you are planning to participate remotely, please indicate when. This is so we can adjust the agenda based on who will be there.
... note that it is difficult sometimes to overcome barriers in participation when some are in person and some remote, so more information is best.

<dboudreau> I meant to participate via teleconference on monday afternoon, but something came up and I won't be able to attend. sorry.

Shawn: What we plan to talk about are Promoting ATAG, Harmonization, UserAgents (new pages), depending on editor availability may work on Usability/Accessibility document.
... reorganizing How to Make presentations Accessible.
... any questions or anything not here that you want to talk about?
... anything else on F2F?
... send comments to list if not able to join meeting.
... we won't make any final decisions. What we work on will be available for comment afterward.

Promoting ATAG

Shawn: Let's look at what we currently have. So people can begin to think about it.

Sandi: My approach to promoting things is to mount a campaign rather than just creating materials.

Shawn: And in terms of specific content, in creating and promoting the content, what are the things we want to fous on?

Sandi: materials that will be useful and relevant to developers, people using the tools, policy makers. Broadly from my POV the ATAG is not nearly as well known as the WCAG.
... again should we think about email marketing. I think friend-get-friend activities will make the community more effective.
... using social media and once materials are written put out the one-page, mailer, emphasizing benefits rather than features. PR activities will create opportunities for articles, interviews, further evolution of documents that are specific to each of the audiences.

Shawn: Any thoughts about goals, approach, messages for promoting ATAG?
... Char, what are your thoughts about aspects that will help the writers and vendors that you work with embrace ATAG?

Char: I have been skimming a lot because I have been busy with the book, presentations, etc.
... I want to help get tech communicators out of their boxes so that they get beyond thinking of accessibility only for the blind.
... I really want to tap people on the head and let folks know that accomodation will help EVERYone.

Shawn: Deadlines form commenting on ATAG are coming right up. If you come up against the deadline, communicate with staff contact and see if you can push the deadline a bit?
... in this case it is Jeanne Spelman for ATAG.
... also Char think about what do I wish I could hand them to tell them about ATAG? What specifically would be ON that that e-mail, webpage, handout?

Jennifer: Maybe I will make a video showing me leave a site because I can't use it.

Char: No way I can blog on a site that is not accessible, so I have been blogging on different platforms to see what works.
... it's been frustrating.

Sharron: http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility/?p=12

Jennifer: I've been watching Wordpress for awhile because all they got was complaints

<KarlGroves> apologies. GG 4 meeting now

Jennifer: this time it is more helpful. Getting tech comments that they can ticket and work on.

Char: Next week I was asked to contribute about how to make an accessible web site. I can tell them what I went through

Shawn: Thanks for all these ideas today. We will not meet next week for the F2F. May 27 will depend on what materials are available.

Summary of Action Items

[NEW] ACTION: Judy - clarify scope, e.g., relate to harmonization with HTML5-level material? or, just accessibility standards? [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action02]
[NEW] ACTION: Judy - consider adding the issue that some other standards rely on WCAG, eg DAISY, ePub - so fragmentation really mucks that up [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action01]
[NEW] ACTION: Judy - consider if the scope includes related material (not just actual standards), e.g., web accessibiity eval methodology, which needs to be coordinated with WCAG WG [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action03]
[NEW] ACTION: Judy - fix title & heading 1 [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2011/05/13-eo-minutes.html#action04]

[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2011/05/27 11:37:41 $